by JENNIFER FRAKES
photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

Dancing Heart

“I first discovered dance when I was walking past a dance studio when my mom and I were out shopping. I looked in the window and asked my mom over and over again if I could dance. She said yes, and I haven’t left the dance floor since,” related Alyssa Ciemiewicz. This fateful shopping trip occurred when Alyssa was 2 ½ years old, and the now 12-year-old is an accomplished dancer, winning many dance competition titles and starring as Clara in her dance studio’s production of The Nutcracker.

Alyssa practices a variety of dance styles including jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, contemporary and acrobatics. Her dance instructor, Jenny Glenn, of Signature Dance Academy is Alyssa’s inspiration. “Miss Jenny pushes me to be the best I can be even when it’s hard or frustrating. She believes in me and makes me feel good about myself,” said Alyssa.

Alyssa is in 6th grade at Oak Valley Middle School and lives in 92129. “I like living in Rancho Peñasquitos because it is a community with lots of families with kids my age. There are also many activities that I can do that are close to my house,” explained Alyssa. While at school, Alyssa especially enjoys math and social studies, both of which satisfy her desire to work with numbers and learn more about what life was in the past.

When she’s not dancing, Alyssa loves participating in Girl Scouts, sewing and baking. “I really love to cook with my grandma, and I go to sewing camps during the summer and practice in my free time. I also love going to special Girl Scout camps with my troop,” stated Alyssa. She and her troop are committed to giving back to the community and often make the trip to the First Presbyterian Church in downtown San Diego to help serve the homeless.

In looking to the future, Alyssa sees dance as playing a large role. “I dream of one day performing as a Rockette at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. I am also interested in being a dance teacher and introducing young children to the wonderful world of dance,” revealed Alyssa. She is also considering following in her mother’s footsteps and becoming a kindergarten teacher. No matter what path Alyssa chooses to follow, it is a sure bet that with her hard work, determination and talent, she will make her dreams come true.

At-A-Glance

Name: Alyssa Ciemiewicz (12)
Shool: Oak Valley Middle School
Grade: 6
Parents: Sean and Erin Ciemiewicz
Siblings: Cameron (18), Connor (15)
Favorite Places in 92129: Hilltop Park, Golden Spoon, Peñasquitos Lutheran Church